Arts “Cosy Moments Cannnot Be Muzzled!”
posted by July 19 at 10:13 AMon
I’m sorry I missed this when it was published last month: Christopher Hitchens writing about what might be closer to his heart than Orwell: Marx’s journalism.
Discussed: Wodehouse, the Victorian opium trade, New York newspaper wars, and Prussian peasants, who used to be allowed to gather firewood that fell on the ground. (Marx wrote editorial after editorial defending their traditional right to fallen branches which seems, in light of his subsequent achievements, kind of noble and kind of cute.)
And here is a shot of pure, distilled Hitchens—elegant and edifying with a heroic dose of self-regard:
If you are looking for an irony of history, you will find it not in the fact that Marx was underpaid by an American newspaper, but in the fact that he and Engels considered Russia the great bastion of reaction and America the great potential nurse of liberty and equality. This is not the sort of thing they teach you in school (in either country). I beseeched Wheen to make more of it in his biography, and his failure to heed my sapient advice is the sole reproach to his otherwise superb book.